Ormoc City will soon establish its very own arboretum or haven of threatened Philippine native trees as Lopez-led geothermal power leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) 183rd BINHI greening legacy partner.
Both parties forged this new partnership through a virtual signing ceremony today, signed by EDC’s Corporate Support Functions Head Regina Victoria J. Pascual, its Corporate Social Responsibility-Public Relations Head Atty. Allan V. Barcena, and Ormoc City Mayor Richard I. Gomez and City Councilor SPM Lalaine Marcos, to jointly rescue and propagate endangered Philippine native tree species
This collection of living tree species is strategically located in an accessible area with site conditions that allow high survival rate. The trees are planted thematically according to its family or geographic distribution for easy identification and appreciation. It serves as a living laboratory for students, environmental enthusiasts, and scientists.
The EDC BINHI-Ormoc City arboretum to be established in a newly-procured 2-ha land in NHA, Brgy. Dolores, Ormoc City will be the 21st to be established under the BINHI program. Erwin Magallanes, EDC Corporate Social Responsibility Head for its Leyte geothermal site, said the City of Ormoc has always been a key partner of the company, highlighting its more than 37 years of operation in the said town.
“We welcome this newest addition to our growing partnership with the LGU of Ormoc City. It has been evident that in the last 37 years, both institutions have been working really well for the benefit of the Ormocanons. This BINHI partnership is a huge step in reaching our goal of regreening our environment as we move towards a regenerative future for the next generation,” Magallanes said.
For EDC, being regenerative is about restoring or uplifting the state of the environment and its stakeholders. It is part of the new mission that EDC and the rest of the Lopez group has committed to strive for.
Ormoc City Mayor Gomez, likewise, expressed his appreciation for the continuous support of EDC to their endeavour of bringing quality public service to the Ormocanons. “I’d like to thank EDC for [being] an active partner of the City, not just in small projects but with big projects as well,” he said.
“I am happy about this arboretum program that we have with EDC, protecting our biodiversity and taking care of threatened species, not just in Ormoc, but all over the country. I am hoping that this would be a successful one. Through the work of the LGU and EDC, I am sure this will be a successful venture,” Gomez said during the virtual signing ceremony.
“I am also hoping that in the future, we’ll be able to plant threatened species all over Ormoc City, not just in our arboretum. And [I] hope on a lot of vacant spaces all over the city we can see trees, threatened species grow big. I think that’s the best help that we can give to our city,” he added.
Under the agreement, EDC will provide the seedlings to the partner groups and the latter will be responsible for the nourishment and maintenance of the tree species. Further, the EDC BINHI team will provide technical assistance to the latter to ensure the growth of the native tree seedlings.
BINHI is EDC’s nationwide forest restoration program and the country’s largest private sector-led greening initiative that aims to restore denuded forests, preserve and propagate threatened native tree species, and protect biodiversity to leave a legacy of a verdant Philippines for future generations. EDC has also planted nearly 50,000 native and fruit tree seedlings in 2019, bringing to 6.44 million its total number of planted seedlings since BINHI started in 2008.
EDC owns and operates the 714-megawatt Leyte geothermal facility, the company’s biggest site that straddles Ormoc City and the Municipality of Kananga and utilizes the largest known geothermal wet steamfield in the world. It comprises the Malitbog geothermal power station, the world’s largest geothermal power plant, along with the Upper Mahiao, Mahanagdong A and B plants, and the 37-year old Tongonan power plant, which is one of EDC’s oldest geothermal power plants.
In total, EDC generates over 40% of the Philippines’ renewable energy output and serves about 10% of the country’s overall electricity demand with its installed capacity of 1,499MW. Its 1,200MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal power producer.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard I. Gomez giving his key message during the virtual signing ceremony. Nov. 4.
183rd EDC-BINHI Partner signed! Photo shows (from top L to R) Ormoc City LGU led by Mayor Richard Gomez, Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin, City Councilor SPM Lalaine Marcos, EDC’s Corporate Support Functions Head Regina Victoria J. Pascual and (bottom) EDC CSR-PR Head Atty. Allan V. Barcena during the signing ceremony.